Updated: Death, racist royalism, lese majeste and populism

Our headline is not a summary of the past few years of Thailand’s turbulent politics. It is a summary of today’s politics. All from the Bangkok Post, and mostly from its headline stories.

The puppet Constitution Drafting Committee has come up with a recommendation that will warm the hearts of all anti-democrats and feudalists. Puppet chairman of the puppet CDC “Meechai Ruchupan … wants to see the death penalty as the maximum punishment for politicians caught selling or buying political positions.”

As the Post points out, “Meechai is effectively stating that corruption for profit by a politician is worse than the serial murder of children…”. We imagine Meechai and his anti-democrat supporters will want gas chambers for managing this “problem.”

The brief story in the Post on “motivational speaker” Orapim Raksapol is related to Meechai’s maniacal proposal. Paid by the junta, Orapin went off to the northeast and essentially declared northeasterners less “loyal” to the monarchy than the junta’s anti-democrat constituency based mainly in Bangkok’s condos, townhouses and shophouses. She implied they lacked sufficient “gratitude” to the monarchy’s good works in the region. The junta is now defending her. Few anti-democrats trust the northeasterners and many have racist responses when confronted by people from the region and their politics.

After her elder sister was sentenced to 150 years in jail, it is now Ying Kai’s turn to face the courts. The Post reports that Montra Yokrattanakan has learned that the Criminal Court has “set June 6, 2017 to begin the examination of witnesses in a case against … Ying Kai …, accused of lese majeste under Section 112 of the Criminal Code.” Oddly, the court refused to accept her “revised confession” as a way to get the case to an end.

The final story at the Post is about another example of junta populism. Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong says the junta “plans to roll out electricity and water subsidies for low income families to mark the coming New Year…”. This is for people who earn less than 100,000 baht a year. It is part of a wider package that includes “free rides on public buses and trains.” Only some of these benefits will be extended beyond Bangkok.

Clearly the junta is in “election” campaign mode. That campaign is now riddled with populist policies and political double standards.

Update: The puppet CDC has backed down on the blood-curdling call for the mandatory death penalty for corrupt politicians. It has “agreed to include life imprisonment as an alternative to the death penalty.” So it seems the death penalty remains but is not mandatory. Puppet-in-chief Meechai “insisted the law is better having the death penalty.”

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